Archive for May, 2006

Why yes… he is!

“It is really time to put Murtha out to the pasture, and I don’t mean that in Mafia speak, but rather it’s time for the senile old coot to be put in a home with a drool rag.

Yet we know some people even here in the States will applaud Murtha like they have before when he’s slammed the U.S. military.”

The above comes on yet another occasion of Rep.[rehensible] Murtha denigrating his former Service, the U.S. Marines. And OBTW, acting as judge, jury and executioner before an investigation is complete.


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Hey stupid… yes you guys that reside and work in Washington D.C. As long as you’re on the hunt, er… witch hunt for fuel price gouging maybe you bunch of duplicitious bastards should look over here.

Corn production is expected to go up 34 percent to 2.15 billion bushels, thanks to an increase in interest in ethanol, a fuel based on the plant.

The bad news is that as demand has gone up, so has the crop’s price, from $2.25-$2.65 a bushel, up from $1.95 to $2.05 last year. The amount of corn feeding the ethanol craze is 20 percent, up from just 5 percent a few years ago.

Likewise, the demand for soybeans has gone up as well, thanks to an increased interest in soybean-based diesel.

And while you’re at it you may want to do something about the import tax imposed on ethanol.

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A group of five Huntsville, Ala., students, 4 seniors and one junior student, forced Jim Shields, 53, to stand naked in the school. Shields, homeless and a Vietnam Veteran, was forced to disrobe and walk naked through school as part of a prank, according to a report.

Local school officials have called the act “unacceptable behavior,” (a vast understatement if there ever was one), and suspended the group from school for a week. As part of the suspension the Seniors will also be barred from attending awards day events and “banned from a planned Senior Class picnic and suspended from attending baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies.”

And note the Junior student apparently will only receive the weeks suspension. I guess an older age does have its “benefits!”

There is no indication these 5 idiots were aware Shields was a veteran, not that it matters, this behaviour is unacceptable in any context. The sad part is the school penalties handed out appear to be that only ones available to local officials. Ken Edmonson, who served in World War II and Vietnam, reportedly contacted Huntsville Police and was told their hands are tied unless the victim takes out a warrant.

My suggestion, someone should give Shields a few bucks, an expensive steak dinner in Honor of his service and an air conditioned ride to the Huntsville cop shop to sware out a complaint.

And based on one quote from Shields (“My pants were already off by the time I got out of the back of the truck,”) the 5 apparently picked him up off the street and drove him to the High School. That sounds like a basis for a kidnapping charge to me.

In a not so surprising twist, this incident is being used by those with acute Bush Derangement Syndrome to blame the GOP and by extension the Bush Administration.

It’s no surprise that in a country, where torture is condoned by our GOP leaders, that a bunch of high-school kids thought it would be fun to lure a 53-year-old mentally ill Vietnam veteran onto school grounds with money and food, and then force the man to strip naked while they all stood around pointing and laughing.

It’s no surprise that in a country, where the lawlessness of our GOP leadership goes unpunished, the kids responsible received little more than a slap on the wrist.

Of course to believe this line of partisan tripe you also must believe high school students have never pulled similar stunts, and worse, pre-Bush.

And a firm belief in secret Karl Rovian brain implants for GOP/Bush supporters would help also.

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As much as I hate how the media pampers it’s audience with the latest and greatest front page news of Britney’s “newest,” still images of LA’s police chases (thanks OJ) and more to the point carnage from Iraq. I understand it.

Sensationalism sells, at least that’s what they believe. The latest figures show why some call the newsprint business the “Legacy Media,” almost without exception the major print dailies in the U.S. have lost circulation.

What I don’t understand (not quite true but I’ll save that rant for another post) or accept is the continued avoidance of, or willful deep sixing of any thing that smacks of good news out of Iraq. It’s irresponsible. The American public and indeed the world deserve to read and hear “the entire story.” Damn the demographics and cheap attempts at sensationalism.

The current war in Iraq has cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 million to the U.S. taxpayers. (a drop in the proverbial bucket with compared to GDP of $12.41 trillion) The newspaper industry as a whole would have you believe, either by benign omission or ideological bent, the $250 million is wasted and could be better spent on some of it’s pet projects like socialized medicine.

In that light, and as an addendum to this post, I offer the latest data from the Iraq Index (55 page pdf file) published this week by The Brookings Institution. I would encourage you to read it all, but here are some notable items:

1. Per Capita GDP (USD) for 2005 is forecast to increase from the previous year to $1,051. In 2002 it was $802.

2. Increases in GDP for the next five years: 16.8, 13.6, 12.5, 7.8, and 7.2.

3. Actionable tips from Iraqis have increased every month this year. In January, 4,025 tips were received; February, 4,235; and March, 4,578.

4. On an index of political freedom for countries in the Middle East, Iraq now ranks fourth, just below Israel, Lebanon, and Morocco.

5. Crude oil production reached 2.14 million barrels a day (MBD) in April of this year. It had dropped to 0.3 MBD in May of 2003.

6. Revenues from oil export have only slightly increased from pre-war levels of $0.2 billion, to $0.62 billion in April.

7. Electrical output is almost at the pre-war level of 3,958 megawatts. April’s production was 3,600 megawatts. In May of 2003, production was only 500 megawatts. The goal is to reach 6,000 megawatts.

8. The unemployment rate in June of 2003 was 50-60%, and in April of this year it had dropped to 25-40%.

9. The number of U.S. military wounded has declined significantly from a high of 1,397 in November 2004 to 430 in April of this year.

10. Iraqi military casualties were 201 in April of 2006, after peaking at 304 in July of 2005.

11. As of December 2005, countries other than the U.S., plus the World Bank and IMF, have pledged almost $14 billion in reconstruction aid to Iraq.

12. Significant progress has also been made towards the rule of law. In May 2003 there were no trained judges, but as of October 2005 there were 351.

13. As of January 2006, 64% of Iraqis polled said that the country was headed in the right direction.

14. Also as of January 2006, 77% said that removing Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do.

15. In May of 2003, Iraqi Security Forces were estimated at between 7,000-9,000. They numbered 250,500 in March of this year.

16. The breakdown of foreign terrorists by country of origin is interesting. The largest number come from Algeria, at 20%. The next two countries are Syria and Yemen, at 18% and 17%, respectively.

17. The number of foreign terrorists fighting in Iraq was estimated at between 300 and 500 in January 2004. That number increased in April of this year, to between 700 and 2,000.

18. From May 2003 and April 2006, between 1,000 and 3,000 anti-Iraqi forces have been killed each month.

There is plenty of positive news here, and much progress for the Legacy Media, among others, to ignore. But pardon me if I continue my normal respiration rate while waiting for them to attempt a cure for its Attention Deficit Disorder

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Never having been an admirer of the Kennedy clan, (with the possible exceptions of Jack and Bobby), I viewed Patrick Kennedy’s late night “rush to vote” while under the influence of “something” as a case of the apple not falling far from the tree. And well… at least he didn’t kill anyone.

So in the interest of fairness it’s important to look at Patrick’s “rap sheet” in it’s entirety before jumping to conclusions. So lets have a peek.

  • March 26, 2000: A videotape captures Kennedy pushing a 58-year-old airport security guard backward and bumping the metal detector archway at Los Angeles International Airport. The catalyst apparently was that his luggage was too big for carry-on and he was disturbed the guard did not recognize him.
  • Summer 2000: The Coast Guard removes a former Hub woman from a yacht for her safety after she and Kennedy had some drinks and a tiff. Kennedy had rented the yacht and trashed it, causing $28,000 in damage.
  • July 2001: Kennedy makes remarks to the Pawtucket Times about U.S. Rep. Gary Condit of California. Kennedy says he is guilty of cheating on his wife and in the mysterious disappearance of the Washington intern he was having an affair with.
  • Wednesday, April 12, 2006: While watching a demonstration of Impact Gel, a shock-absorbing material, Kennedy takes one to the face when a hammer head flies off the handle and hits him in the mouth. He gets six stitches to his bottom lip at Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket and cancels several public appearances.
  • Saturday, April 15, 2006: Kennedy tries to turn into a CVS parking lot in Portsmouth, R.I.,, but turns into the vehicle in front of him instead. (police report available here – pdf file)
  • Thursday, May 4, 2006: Kennedy crashes in D.C. Kennedy insisted that he had consumed “no alcohol” before he slammed his Mustang convertible into a concrete barrier near his office and he was rushing back to the Capital “to vote.” Kennedy issued a statement through his office blaming the accident and strange behavior surrounding it on prescription drugs.

Hmmm… the self inflicted “hammer shot” not withstanding, it would appear the young Kennedy has been a busy little boy. Emphasis on BOY. And this latest fling invoking the Kennedy legend of obfuscation, shirking of personal responsibility and an extreme propensity for lying out of his ass, seems to indicate something more than just falling from Kennedy apple tree. The young “man” fell out of the tree and has cuddled in the warm moist moss growing at its base hopeing all the while this all blows over and he can continue his ultimate quest for increased political power.

Sorry Patrick J, claiming “disorientation” then attempting to invoke Section 6 of the United States Constitution to avoid prosecution is not only a dis-service to himself, but a total disregard of the public trust. Rhode Islanders should toss this A-hole out on his ear.

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